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How to Cultivate Learning through Play?

As a parent, you would undoubtedly love seeing your child play. Hearing their thoughts and learning about the new worlds they fathom about ,is fascinating. It’s also entertaining to see how inventive kids can be as they utilize their imagination to learn about the world. The power of play may in fact help young children acquire a variety of abilities.

Why play matters?

One of the most important ways that children learn and develop is via playing. They may improve their verbal, emotional, creative, and social abilities. Play promotes the development of a child’s imagination and provides a sense of adventure. They can acquire important skills like problem solving, team-work, sharing and much more.

Play is much more important for children than many parents realize. It is, in fact, the most important aspect of learning. Researchers and educators all around the world have proven that play improves learning and builds important abilities like curiosity, creativity, exploration, and cooperation. It is therefore a vital part for both the parents and their kids.

What is meaningful play?

Parents and kids should indulge in meaningful play. ‘Meaningful play’ has five characteristics. It :

  • Allows the kid to decide what he or she wants to do.

  • For the kid, it is pleasurable and delightful.

  • Rather than providing kids a script to follow, it evolves on its own.

  • Is motivated by a child’s inherent desire to perform something.

  • Creates a risk-free atmosphere for children to experiment new ideas.

Providing a variety of playthings for children will benefit them in a number of ways:

  • As children grow older, it is critical to prepare them for the responsibilities of school and society. Content only benefits children to the extent that they can use and expand on it, whereas it is crucial to comprehend the information. We believe that participating in this form of deeper learning is best done through fun experiences.

  • Recognizing different shapes and sizes, arranging things in order, and developing logic can all be taught by building blocks, jigsaws, and shape sorters. Ball activities, dancing, jogging, and climbing are all good ways to improve body mobility, strength, flexibility, and coordination.

  • Dramatic play benefits a child’s emotional development by teaching them to perceive reality from a new perspective and allowing them to “try” events before they occur. Outdoor playing allows kids to learn a lot about the always changing environment while also allowing them to exercise their entire body and improve their gross motor abilities.

  • Monopoly is a popular educational game for children and teenagers. The game is played with the goal of generating money and overcoming the challenges that one may encounter when attempting to make income. This is an excellent way to practice fundamental math skills while also being familiar with different monetary values.

  • Jenga is one of the greatest games to play if you want to test your abilities and strategy. This game requires 54 wooden blocks to play. You start by constructing a tower and then gradually remove the blocks one by one.Make sure you’re not the one who brings it down. Everything may be ruined by a bad start. A sloppily built tower makes for a short game and a weak foundation leads to quick downfall. Aren’t all of these attributes important for children to develop in order for them to confront real-life challenges?

  • A tangram is a two-dimensional re-arrangement puzzle made by cutting a square into seven parts, each of which is made up of seven geometric forms known as “tans.” The goal is to use all seven pieces without overlapping to reproduce a design mentioned in a puzzle book, or the kid can create entirely new shapes of his own. Tangram puzzles appear to stimulate brain regions linked to creative thinking and trial-and-error problem-solving.

  • Sudoku, crossword puzzles, quizzes, scrabble , and word problems are some of the activities to improve aspects of cognition like memory, attention, focus, and brain speed.

Play-based Learning Strategies

  • Creative Curriculum is an early childhood educational strategy that emphasizes social/emotional development and project-based investigations as a means for children to apply skills while also addressing the four areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and linguistic. The following 11 areas of concern were centred on: blocks, dramatic play, toys and games, art, library, discovery, and a sandbox are just a few of the activities available.

  • A cognitive method such as High/Scope is an example. Children should be actively involved in their own learning, according to the idea. There are 58 key experiences in High/Scope. They adopt a plan, execute, review strategy during learning time. Adults facilitate the play rather than completely managing the play themselves.

The most crucial stage of human development is from birth to the age of eight. During this time, the development of cognitive skills , emotional well-being, good physical and mental health, as well as social competency establishes a firm basis for success in adulthood. Adults may encourage and provide a mix of indoor and outdoor play by modelling healthy attitudes toward play. Adults should moderate the nature of the game, engage in it, and expand it rather than dictating or controlling it. The importance of early learning is incorporated even in United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4’s second target. The LEGO foundation in support of UNICEFis strengthening learning through play in early childhood education programs. Hence it is important to understand the power of ‘Learning through play’ and teach kids different things with the help of different play activities. Happy and Fun learning!

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